The Advent wreath in a church in Rome – Avvenire
During the Sundays of Advent we invite you to perform the rite of the skylight, that is to light the four candles – one for each week – which form the Advent wreath. As the Directory on Popular Piety and Liturgy explains, “the arrangement of four candles on a wreath of evergreen branches, used above all in Germanic countries and North America, has become a symbol of Advent in the homes of Christians. The circular crown is the sign of the expectation of Christ’s return; the green branches recall hope and life that never ends ».
The Advent wreath in a church in Tuscany – Avvenire
The gradual lighting up of the four candles, dedicated to four typical figures of the messianic expectation (the prophets, Bethlehem, the shepherds, the angels), is «the memory of the various stages in the history of salvation before Christ and symbol of the prophetic light that gradually illuminated the night of waiting until the rising of the Sun of justice ”.
The crown can also be made in family. But it is found above all in churches, clearly visible to the faithful. It should be placed in front of the altar or ambo, without however disturbing the celebration. If the lighting is done during the first Vespers, the rite can begin with the semi-dark church in which one of the altar servers brings a lighted candle to the altar. After the lighting of the crown the church will be completely illuminated.